Wardrobe Tips

My philosophy is Keep it Simple. Casual, classic clothing without prints or logos are recommended.  Solid, very dark or light shirts work well with khakis or denim. If photographs are being captured for newspaper print, it is best to wear dark clothing. Avoid whites, creams, and tans as these will wash out the subject in the photo. Textures create wonderful detail in photographs. By adding hats, scarves, or accessories, you can add a little style element.

When thinking of ‘group photos’, try to stay with a similar theme: either in color or style.  Most importantly, make sure you’re comfortable.

The number of times you change clothes depends on the session you select. Arrive on time and with your hair done and make already applied and ready to go.

If you plan to change clothes, make sure everything is ironed and on hangers. Put each set of jewelry in a plastic baggie and hang it on the hanger with that outfit. This will save you time and we will get to shoot more if you are not having to untangle all your necklaces/jewelry.

For some ideas on some great wardrobe tips … be sure to follow out How Charming Photography Pinterest Board. 


  • Clothing is a critical part of creating a wonderful photograph. We love color, as it represents such a lively fun time in a child’s life; however, something simple and classically styled in a solid color (i.e. white, black, blue, grey) also works well. Trendy clothing also adds great impact to images and work very well for older children. If you are creating a group photograph, try to keep a similar theme to your outfit choices (i.e. use like colors and styles). Newborns are photographed in as little as possible. Nothing is more pure and perfect than the skin of a new child.


  • With multiple subjects in the portrait, it is especially important to dress in the same color and style to capture your relationship. For a traditional family portrait, we recommend long sleeved, solid colored outfits in medium to dark tones. Keep in mind that your eye will be drawn to the lightest color in the portrait, so you may wish to maintain a color harmony to avoid any unnecessary distractions. For a casual family portrait, you may want to select something a little more fun. You could show your team spirit and wear your favorite high school/college/pro team jerseys. Or, maybe your family shares a common interest and would like to capture it. Perhaps you may want to dress for comfort with khakis or denim.


  • The outdoors is very busy; therefore, it is important to choose only one or two theme colors. Everyone should wear shades in those colors. Wear colors that you see in nature. While blues are excellent all year, colors such as white, cream, and khaki are great against green foliage. Browns, tans, burgundys, golds and orange are nice colors in the fall season.


  • Bring a wide variety.
  • Wear solid, medium-toned sweaters, plain t-shirts, long sleeved dress shirts, jeans, leather, or denim jackets, sports coats, sports uniforms and hats are great.
  • For more traditional portraits, a suit or sport coat with a tie is great.
  • For casual and outdoor photos, comfort is the rule. Jeans, khakis, and shorts are also a must.
  • If you are going to wear a t-shirt under another shirt, make sure you match dark with dark and light with light.


  • Wear the colors and outfits you feel best in.
  • Bring a variety of outfits from dressy to casual, traditional to funky.
  • Some suggestions might be: long sleeved sweaters, sundress, shorts, leater jackets, denim jackets, hats, bandanas, scarves, sports uniform. Dresses and sweaters are good for a more traditional look.
  • Make sure you bring shoes, accessories and jewelry for each outfit. Shoes may show, so be sure they compliment your attire. Bare feet is suggested for some poses.
  • Bring the proper undergarmet for each outfit. Make sure you bring the proper bra for each top and do not forget the proper underwear if you are bringing white pants.

Wild to Mild – you wear what you can and cannot wear. A little sexy is ok, but do not make all of your outfits that way. I photograph everything from prom dresses to swimsuits, cheerleading outfits to raggedy jeans and novelty t-shirts, party dresses, your boyfriend’s football or baseball jersey, baseball caps, hats, heels, boots, layers, jackets, sweaters, gloves, skirts, dresses, pants, capris, jean, jeans with holes, your senior shirt, winter hats and scarves, and coats with hoods and fur. Check out fashion magazines for ideas on new trends and fashion. Never underestimate how gorgeous you might look in a cowboy hat. Accessorize to add that perfect ‘edge’ to your session!

Make sure you bring things that show your personality.

  • Like to read? –> bring books.
  • Like to shop? –> bring lots of shopping bags.
  • Are you into sports? –> bring your uniform and sports gear.
  • Listen to music? –> bring your personal iPod OR your instrument like above.

Be sure you browse through plenty of magazines and check out facial expressions.
Practice in your mirror for different looks. Flirty, sad, pouty, fun, angry —> attitude!
Prepare to just relax and have LOTS of fun!


For additional make up tips, be sure to follow How Charming Photography’s Pinterest Board.

Images will look better if you wear makeup. Even if you do not normally wear it, even a little powder and blush will accentuate your cheek bones. Pale shades of lipstick do not photograph well because they make your lips blend into your skin. You want to go a shade or two darker than you normally would. Even a little gloss helps to accentuate your lips.  (Guys – make sure you bring chap stick too!)

Touch Ups

  • Be sure to bring at least lipstick and powder to your session. All purchased portraits will have basic facial retouching done to them; therefore, do not worry about a couple of pimples.
  • Wearing a light foundation and translucent powder will give your portraits a polished look, evening out your skin tones.
  • Since many of your portraits will concentrate on your eyes, please make sure your eyeliner is straight and there are no clumps in your eyelashes.
  • Be sure to wear mascara. Failing to do so will make your eyelashes disappear, and the eyes are the main focal point of most pictures.

Hairstyling should be appropriate to the clothing selected.

  • Avoid new hairstyles or having your hair cut, permed, or highlighted the week prior to your portrait session.
  • Bring a brush, hair clips, etc. for hair changes.


  • Please remember the importance of your hands/feet in your portraits.
  • Be sure your nails are polished and picture perfect.

Looking to Accessorize for your pix? Check our some GREAT ideas here.

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